Final acceptance for the use of Neutron Therapeutics’ accelerator has been received, meaning that the High Flux Accelerator-Driven Neutron Facility can now be used. This first-of-its-kind facility will enable research into the effect of neutrons in a variety of fields, including nuclear energy, nuclear science and boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT).
Noah Smick, Ph.D., president and chief operating officer of Neutron Therapeutics said: "The University of Birmingham's neutron facility brings together a wide community of researchers in fields ranging from fundamental nuclear physics to nuclear materials to radiation oncology, and we are honoured to be part of this initiative.”
This is a terrific milestone for the development of the U.K.’s portfolio of experimental facilities to support the rapidly developing nuclear energy sector with new developments associated with small-modular, advanced-modular and fusion reactors.Professor Martin Freer, University of Birmingham
This facility is the United Kingdom’s first high-flux neutron test facility and is part of the U.K.’s National Nuclear User Facility (NNUF) program. It is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).
Capabilities of the accelerator include:
- Nominal proton current of 30 mA
- Nominal proton energy of 2.6 MeV
- Typical neutron yield of 3x10^13 primary neutrons per second
Professor Martin Freer, director of the Birmingham Energy Institute (BEI) said: “This is a terrific milestone for the development of the U.K.’s portfolio of experimental facilities to support the rapidly developing nuclear energy sector with new developments associated with small-modular, advanced-modular and fusion reactors.
“The High Flux Accelerator-Driven Neutron Facility is a transformational research platform which will allow a series of fundamental research questions to be addressed.”
In addition to research in nuclear energy and science, the facility can be used for pre-clinical research in boron neutron capture therapy, a precision medicine approach that is being advanced to treat cancer by destroying cancerous cells while minimizing the impact to surrounding healthy tissues.
“The compact accelerator at the University of Birmingham’s neutron facility provides an excellent environment for researchers conducting pre-clinical research in boron neutron capture therapy,” said Professor Stuart Green, director of medical physics at University Hospital Birmingham. “This reemerging modality for treating cancer is showing potential to transform how the medical community approaches difficult-to-treat cancers, such as glioblastomas and head and neck cancers, and we look forward to supporting necessary and important research in BNCT at this facility.”
The Birmingham Energy Institute is welcoming requests for access and interested parties can submit these to firstname.lastname@example.org.